Musical to take audience around the world in 80 minutes

Band adviser Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian (in yellow shirt) and SMK St Joseph acting principal James Chen (in tie) launching the concert while teachers and parents look on.

KUCHING: An exciting musical performance is in store as St Joseph’s School Band joins forces with Singapore-based YST Percussion Octet for its annual community concert in December.

With the theme “Around the World in 80 Minutes”, the concert will portray music from various countries and cultures by percussionists using all kinds of drums and keyboards.

Band programme coordinator Jonathan Fox said the theme also reflected the international make-up of the guest artistes, who come from Japan, Taiwan, China, Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

“We will cover lots of different countries in the concert, hear different languages and see different cultures.

“You can see French and Spanish music collide and you’ll hear people from Thailand talking about music from Germany.

“It’s going to be fascinating and we think we have come up with something very unusual,” he said at the concert launch recently.

Fox said there would be a mix of contemporary and classical music presented in a highly visual medium of percussion.

“Even the classical will appear as contemporary and it is really a spectacle to witness. For example, we could have Bach on mallet keyboard and Beethoven on drums.

“Percussion has a wide range of emotions; it’s hardly about banging or making noise.

“Almost every piece will be based in melody. It’s going to be our most visually stunning show,” he said.

The music will range from jazz and concert band to solo drumming and rock-oriented pieces.

“Each piece is going to be very different. It is going to be a very entertaining programme with something for everyone in the audience.

“The performers will interact with the audience and discuss the pieces to make sure people understand what they’re seeing,” Fox said.

Band adviser Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said the concert series provided an invaluable opportunity for young musicians to meet outstanding performers from around the world and to network with them for future opportunities.

“All this is made possible because of the students themselves, the team of teachers who put it together and the sponsors.

“So, the concert is also an opportunity for the band to give back to the community,” he said.

The band currently has some 60 members and about 50 of them will perform at the concert.

Meanwhile Cahya Mata Sarawak, the concert’s main sponsor, contributed RM10,000 to support the event.

“Around the World in 80 Minutes” will be held at Trinity Methodist Church here on Dec 8.

Tickets are priced at RM50 for students, RM100, RM200 and RM500. To purchase, call 082-240 885 (SMK St Joseph) or 082-414 575 (St Joseph’s School).

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